The View From 60 - Selected Scriptures
Intro - 60th birthday this week. If I could sit down with my children and grandchildren...
6 Lessons From 6 Decades:
1. ______________ is the most important job in the world.
I was blessed with 2 great parents who were both focused on Christ and raising me with a Christian heritage. As Paul said to Timothy…
“You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15 NLT
Christian parents not only have privilege of teaching their children about Christ but also becoming a student of their children.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 KJV
The way they should go = “the way they are bent.” Each child is different. Parenting is hard, exhausting and often frustrating in the moment. But it’s the most important job in the world. Every world and political and religious objective can be reached first and best if moms and dads focused on their greatest jobs / opportunities at home!
2. Attitude matters. Choose the_________________ . Be thankful in all circumstances.
The pursuit of happiness is actually built in to our Declaration of Independence. I’ve heard some preachers (me too) preach that joy is possible but not always happiness. I’ve always struggled with the idea of joy without happiness. Seems like half.
I’ve discovered two things - (1) Attitude matters. I can choose how I view things. Like putting on rose-colored glasses. (2) the best attitude for happiness is thanksgiving. Focusing on what we have to be thankful for.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
“We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him,
those whom he has called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 GNT
If I believe that, then nothing could hinder my happiness besides me! I’ve been sad many times. Hurt. Disappointed. Discouraged. Down. We’re all subject to emotions/hormones. But I always choose happiness/thankful.
3. _________________ is my friend. I can be tough on me or the world will be tough on me.
“We don't enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right.” Hebrews 12:11 GWT
Scripture even tells us that our Heavenly Father also disciplines us - because He loves us. Somewhere along the way, Dad was able to help me see the truth of discipline applied to me - not from him or from God - but from me to me. Self-discipline. Choosing the harder way early for the better way later. Getting up earlier. Working first, playing later. Doing the unpleasant task that got me to my desired goal.
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28 ESV
Discipline is a great friend because discipline will tell you the truth. Lack of discipline always lies. Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny."
4. __________ and __________ go together like peas and carrots.
Love is that something special everyone seeks. A relationship with someone where they look out for you and want what’s best for you just as you do for them. Doesn’t have to be just romantic. Can be in business and in friendship…
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Pr. 17:17 ESV
Can’t have one without the other. Sometimes we discover that those we love (and who say they love us) can do the most unloyal things - and that hurts! Romans 8:28 - “In all things God works to good for those who love Him.”
“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16b NIV
Here’s the lesson learned - you have a right to love AND loyalty. You should have the right to give it. You should have the right to receive it. Don’t settle for anything less. Because when you find it, you know what to expect. That will lessen the number of relationships you can count on. But then all of your relationships are ones you can count on!
True in business. True in friendships. True in family. True in romance. (This isn’t against forgiveness. You can forgive. But you also need to be able to trust.) Find and invest your lifetime into people who trust you and in whom you can trust. Invest your life into love and loyalty!
5. Pursue my ____________ not my ___________.
God did not create us to do work. He created us to do good works…
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
There’s nothing wrong with getting paid well for doing a job you love and are passionate about. But choosing a career or spending the focus of your life on doing something that you are not passionate about can kill the real you. Because it’s not who and how God created you! So spend some time figuring that out. Go into the deep waters of your soul…
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5 NIV
Find what you love / passionate about and do it. In the meantime, you may need to make a living doing something else. Find your passion and pursue it with all your might!
One final lesson. All others on positive side. Must deal with negatives too
6. I am never ___________ no matter how I ___________.
If we are a Christ-follower, God is with us always. Over and over again Scriptures tell us that “The Lord will never leave us nor forsake us.” One of my all time favorite Bible verses is…
“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT
I love that there is a book of the Bible named “Lamentations.” As I have turned 60 I realize that not all of life is positive. There is a good deal of negative, of hardship, of difficulty, of disappointment, of illness. The truth is that we all do a lot of lamenting in life. Especially during those tough times I will FEEL alone. It’s not true. Feelings LIE! More than anything they lie to us about God’s Presence in our life. It’s why we base our Christian faith on the TRUTH of God’s Word and NOT on our feelings. It’s also WHY we need to be in God’s Word constantly - to be reminded that God is with us.
Most important lesson - Seek Christ. Remember who you are in Christ each and every day.